Can an ordinary life be an extraordinary life at the same time?
Reflecting just now on the year that has been, and looking to the year that is to come, I am pondering a lot.
Downtime is something that I no longer take in large chunks. I don’t gift myself with annual leave or the like these days, but rather a quiet 5 or 10 minutes alone with my thoughts during the day, and my non-negotiable time between 5 and 7am, and 5 and 7pm each day (life permitting).
As I sat outside just now, this notion of the ‘ordinary life’ kept at my thoughts, and something told me to explore it.
I remember talking with a friend once about my dreams and goals and I rattled off something like “An ordinary life was never going to cut it for Jamie…” and I had not thought of this again since, until now.
It got me thinking about what an ordinary life even is, and how one goes about measuring ones life to decide where it sits on the scale of ordinary or extraordinary.
Does the man who goes to work in the dark and comes home in the dark, but provides for his family effortlessly stop and think his life is ordinary compared to those on the silver screen?
Do those on the silver screen think back to time when their lives were seemingly much simpler, and in being simple, were far from ordinary? But it took them to the end of the scale to the extraordinary to discover that what they had was just that all along?
There are so many ordinary people out there living their lives everyday, doing some extraordinary things, and often those who are doing the most for others, are those who rarely ask for anything in return.
Which gets to the notion of life being far more about giving, than taking or receiving. So perhaps an ordinary life full of extraordinary things is the ticket to a fulfilled life.
This then perhaps introduces the notion of measuring ones life against something, against ones own expectations, against those of others.
Dreaming big and stopping at nothing to bring those dreams into fruition, or perhaps just knowing that dreams are dreams, and there is much work to be done here on the ground.
But that’s a bit ordinary isn’t it?
As I work through my thoughts here in the written word, as much as I do not mean to be dismissive of any one person, an ordinary life in my mind is just doing the bare minimum, just getting by.
It is allowing others to get in the way of your own life. It is not doing something, or not taking a chance out of fear of what others may say, often those closest to us, who do often have the best of intentions, but at the end of the day, we as the individuals are the only people who have to get up every day and live our lives, so it really is up to us to decide what our days look like.
But then the flipside of my mind tells me that an what one views as an ordinary life, and be seen as quite extraordinary from another’s view point, so the definition is quite subjective. I’ve known people who, in my eyes, and the eyes of others, live incredibly interesting lives full of glitz and glamour, but to them, it is just what they do. Their life of glitz and glamour is just going to work everyday and coming home at night, eating some dinner, maybe doing some washing and going to sleep.
But then without the most extraordinary dream chasers, things in this world would stay the same. Without those willing to put fear aside and the judgment of others out of their minds, things would be fairly beige.
Many of the most out there minds at the time they existed, have been the biggest influencers in the world we live in today, and the next out there mind that shapes the future, could be yours.
I’d like to invite you to think about that for a while. Maybe you have already made up your mind, maybe you have not even read this far down the page. It takes a lot to grip the attention of we beings in this day of having everything at the click of a button on our phones and having it yesterday.
But if you are still with me, and you feel that you are one of the big thinkers, but you also feel like there is much, and there are many in the way of your dreams, start gravitating towards those who lift you higher, and let those who hold you down go for a while, and just see where you end up, it could end up being quite the extraordinary life, yet feel quite ordinary at the same time.